Undergraduate research win

Congratulations to Daniel Mercer, Part 3 Pharmacy student, for being one of two winners of Reading’s annual undergraduate research opportunities programme (UROP). Daniel’s project was selected from 72 projects and looked at the advanced prescribing of chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Daniel’s presenting his poster at the UROP Poster Showcase

His study concluded that advanced prescribing of chemotherapy could be a feasible option for the majority of patients on this treatment which would reduce workload and reduce costs from drug wastage. The findings of the project will be presented as a poster in Westminster in March 2019 in the Posters in Parliament event which is organised by the British Conference of Undergraduate Research. The project was successfully supervised by Dr. Nilesh Patel from the pharmacy practice team and Nadjoua Maouche from Oxford University Hospitals.

Considering Methylphenidate Drug Holidays in ADHD – new publication

Findings from a study entitled, ‘The construction and validation of child, adolescent and parental decision aids for considering methylphenidate drug holidays in ADHD’ was recently published in the journal Pharmacy. The following is a summary of the study by Professor Donyai.


What is the study about: Some children take medicines for ADHD. It is important to take a short break from these during the year. But families find it difficult to decide on this. There is nothing to tell families what is good and what is bad about medicine breaks. We wrote these down. We spoke with doctors and parents. They helped us correct the guides. We made the guides good for children, teenagers and families. Three guides are now available to help children and families decide about medicine breaks.

Why is it important: Children and teenagers who have ADHD can get bad effects from their medicines. It is important to take a break from ADHD medicines. This is what the government wants. Taking a break from medicines helps families see if they still need to give strong medicines. Not many families know about medicine breaks or want to try them. The guides we made will help doctors talk to families about medicine breaks. Families can then learn what is good and what is bad about medicine breaks. This will help them decide if they want to try medicine breaks in ADHD.”


Ibrahaim, K. Randolph, G. Doran, O. and Donyai, P. The construction and validation of child, adolescent and parental decision aids for considering methylphenidate drug holidays in ADHD. Pharmacy 2018(4),122.  https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy6040122).

British Oncology Pharmacy Association (BOPA) Conference

Posters by Yau, J. Grant, D. and Stoner N. (top) and Wilcock, E. Barnett, N. Donyai, P. and Stoner N. (bottom) presented at the BOPA conference in the Autumn term 2018


Researchers from the cancer pharmacy team presented posters of their work at the recent BOPA Conference. The work was produced by the Academic Pharmacy Practice Unit, a joint collaboration between pharmacy practice at Reading and Oxford University Hospitals.

The first poster by Wilcock, E. Barnett, N. Donyai, P. and Stoner N. presented work from a study which was conducted to assess the feasibility of using health coaching sessions with cancer patients recieving oral anticancer therapy. The second poster presented by Yau, J. Grant, D and Stoner, N reported the implementation of Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), a gene therapy for unresectable metastatic melanoma, in NHS Trusts across the UK.


Some of us in the team have joined the 14-day challenge with over 1000 pharmacy writers from around the world. From October 14-28, 2018, we’re pledging to write at least 30 minutes/day (M-F) to help advance pharmacy science, education and practice.

#ShareDiscoveries #ShareInsights #TogetherWeWrite

Publications by Dr. Rosemary Lim

Dr. Rosemary has been busy working on a number of exciting new projects and below is a selection of some her publications this year.

  • Courtenay, M., Castro-Sanchez, E., Deslandes, R., Hodson, K., Lim, R., Morris, G., Reeves, S.and Weiss, M.  Defining antimicrobial stewardship competencies for undergraduate health professional education in the United Kingdom: a study protocol. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2018.1463200

Healthcare professionals are at the forefront of working across different sectors to tackle antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial stewardship competencies have only been developed for prescribing but not for other healthcare activities. This article is a protocol which aims to develop and define competences at an undergraduate level. The study will involve a Depli excercise with experts to develop competencies across all undergraduate healthcare professional education programmes to provide a standardised curriculum.

  • Vosper H, Lim R, Knight C, Bowie P, Edwards B and Hignett S on behalf of the CIEHF Pharmaceutical Human Factors Special Interest Group (2018) Considering human factors and developing systems thinking behaviours to ensure patient safety. Clinical Pharmacist, 2018, Vol 10, No 2. doi: 10.1211/CP.2018.20204352

This articles calls attention to developing ‘systems thinking’ by considering human factors and ergonomics practice (HFE) to understand the complexity of issues in the workplace. HFE is regulated by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) and offers validated tools to model and test complex systems and provides a new way of thinking about and addressing safety issues.

  • Axon, D. R., Lim, R., Lewis, P. J., Sandher, S., Thondee, J., Edwards, K.and Howard, R. L. Junior doctors’ communication with hospital pharmacists about prescribing: findings from a qualitative interview study. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 2018 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/ejhpharm-2017-001449

The aim of this study was to explore the factors which affect communication between junior doctors and hospital pharmacists about doctors’ prescribing. The study shows that junior doctors and hospital pharmacists communicate well and input from pharmacists is generally appreciated by the doctors. Joint ward rounds, pharmacist led teaching sessions and standardised communication are some of the suggested ways that communication can still be improved.